Exhibition – Trenches to Runway

Hello! It might surprise you to learn that there’s currently a small fashion exhibition on at the Shrine of Remembrance. I managed to catch it soon after opening and it features some lovely stories about how some of our most basic garment styles came into being – from the well-loved trench coat to the bomber jacket, flared trousers and military style braid.

It’s a nice reminder of how much fashion styles can be moved on by the need to adapt, and how easily these styles can then be incorporated into every day fashion. We owe a lot to conflicts, when it comes to cultural change.

20th century ready to wear fashion owes a debt to the clothing manufacturing industry that was needed for uniform production and quickly pivoted to dress us all, once the war was over.


  • What:  Trenches to Runway: Military influences on popular fashion exhibition. Curated by Kate Spinks-Colas.
  • Where: The Shrine, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne
  • When: open every day 10am-5pm on now until October 2024
  • Cost: free!
  • More information: at the Shrine website.
Napoleonic style with extravagant braided trim.
WW2 Sailor uniform, inspiration to early 1970s bell-bottomed trousers.
A tribute to our women in uniform, Australian Womens Weekly 1945
WW2 scarf that would have fit in well with Amber Butchart’s exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum ‘The Fabric of Democracy’. More on that later, as I managed to catch it in London and take a few pics.

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